"Espresso! My Espresso!"
An Ongoing Internet Novelette
by Randy Glass - Copyright 2005 - All rights reserved
E-mail me at EspressoMyEspresso@gmail.com
Missed it by That Much
It would be safe to assume that over fifty percent of my readers make espresso at home- the name of this website should denote that this statistic would tend to true. Even for those who have chosen not to follow this crazy road as mapped out on this website, it should be no surprise that there are a seemingly endless number of ways to make bad espresso, or at least to say, fail at making an espresso. It is, after all, the most complicated and detailed-oriented method to make a coffee beverage, and the margin for error is quite narrow. The difference between sipping-satisfaction and expectoration can be a mere two degrees in brew temperature or fifteen seconds in the roaster. Still we find more ways all the time to foul the procedure.
Even with all that said we complicate the matter when, first thing in the morning, we chose to attempt to create an espresso. While trying to escape the hold the warm bed has on us in the early hours, we struggle from its grasp just in time to complete the morning's first task in the little room where such tasks are best done. We then move off to the kitchen. This morning was much like that for me. It had been a strenuous weekend as I had been working some long hours on a commercial art project- a logo and website. The very long and arduous hours at the computer create a mental fog which forces the need to concentrate more fully at the espresso machine at a time when it is most difficult to do so.
As the beans were grinding I checked the water reservoir and noticed that the level was low, so I pulled the jug from under the sink and as I was approaching the espresso machine I glanced at the grinder's progress. It took a concerted mental effort to tell my brain, "NO! Don't pour the water into the running grinder! It goes into the white tank to your left. Why would you even think that?" It felt like the various sitcoms where the little devil sits upon one's shoulder and says, "Go ahead. Pour it in there. You know you want to see what happens!" I didn't listen.
So my efforts proceeded as I put the espresso cup on the drip tray, and the dosing, tamping, and locking of the portafilter took place as it always does. Locked in place, I glanced at the timing clock, hit the brew button, and stepped away to get the two, preheated glasses for the morning cappas out of the microwave. I retrieved them and went back to check on the progress of the espresso which I estimated had half-filled the cup. Or at least to say, it would have filled the glass about half way had I actually placed the glass under the portafilter when I turned on the brew switch instead of leaving it in its place off to the side where it wouldn't be knocked over by my efforts as I locked the portafilter into place. It was not only safe from being knocked off the drip tray, but safe from any influence of the dripping espresso as it flowed safely past the cup with room to spare, through the grid, and into the drip tray with the rest of the liquid waste.